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Lanesboro discusses parking at Church Hill

Fri, Mar 7th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Government

Church Hill Condominiums developer Dan Anderson approached the Lanesboro City Council about a parking issue that has been in question for some time now. He stated the property line goes right down the middle of the parking lot. Right now, people who attend Bethlehem Lutheran Church use the parking lot on Sundays and during church events.

Anderson spoke about working out a joint maintenance agreement with the city for the parking lot. He had previously met with Bobbie Vickerman when she was administrator and said that she recommended the city take over the lot. Anderson said he is open to any ideas.

City Attorney Tom Manion said the debate is the parking lot is private property, so should the city get involved and have to pay maintenance costs?

City Administrator David Todd expressed some confusion about why the city would have to take over. He recommended the parking spaces be moved so they are on Anderson’s property. He added it should have been developed so that the spaces were completely on his property. He also felt that it would be confusing and “muddy the waters” to get into joint agreement with the city.

Theresa Coleman from the Public Utilities Commission reminded the council the city ordinance requires Anderson provide two off-street parking spaces for each unit. Council member and acting Mayor Tom Dybing agreed moving the spaces might be the best solution, so he is in compliance with the ordinance.

Anderson said he will look into his options and get more information.

Well Project Bids

Theresa Coleman recommended the council accept a bid from Mark J. Traut Wells, Inc. for work on the well project. She explained they only received two bids, which was fewer than they had hoped. One of the reasons was the depth of the well, which is 1,000 feet. Not everyone has the right equipment for that depth.

Todd said the state has mandated a time table for the project, and it must be completed by the middle of 2015. Also, companies in Wisconsin and Iowa have had troubles with permits for blasting in Minnesota, and the project will require some blasting.

Coleman said it was not recommended to try for more bids, because they could have trouble getting any bids at all. The council accepted the bid.

Video for dam

In order to pursue bond funds for the dam repair, Lanesboro has submitted a video to BuildMN. Todd said he saw a video example from Chatfield, and working with others, created a short video with photos and video of the dam, explaining why the city needs money for the project.

“It was $200 to make, but it was well worth it,” said Todd. “I’m very excited about it.”

There are more than 100 cities requesting funds from the state. Todd said he sent the video to Jeremy Miller and Greg Davids, as well as many other people.

Farmers Market

This is the 13th year of the Farmers Market, and Director Stena Lieb gave her annual report to the council. There are currently four members on the board, with one new member. Lieb said they will not be making any changes to the procedures, and if Amish people want to participate in the Farmers Market, they have to comply with the rules.

Lieb also asked about the permanent sign for the market that was approved by the council. She would like to know size and location, since she has an artist lined up to create the sign. Todd said the park board was meeting soon and he would get her the details.

Fire Department

and Ambulance

Ambulance Director Lee Peterson asked the council to change their business year from fiscal year to calendar year to simplify the records. The council approved and the business year for the ambulance will now run from January 1 through December 31.

Rob Wagner, Lanesboro’s Fire Chief, said the fire department no longer meets the criteria to be required to have an annual audit. However, they are still required to file paperwork with the state. The cost difference if they choose not to do an audit is only $500. Because of this, Wagner suggested they continue with the audit in order to know where they are financially and for protection. The council was in agreement.

Chamber Director

Dee Slinde was introduced as the new Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. Slinde said she moved to Lanesboro in November and has worked in a University setting for several years. She is looking forward to her brand new job and working with the city.

Approval for bids

Todd asked the council for permission to seek bids on the city’s backhoe, which is reaching the end of its usefulness due to its old age. He also asked permission to seek quotes on a new computer for Deputy Clerk Michele Peterson. Her computer is from 2002, and she has had a lot of trouble with it freezing nad locking up. The council approved both.

The council also gave Todd permission to get bids from Mediacom, who recently expressed interest in providing telecommunications for the city offices. Ace Telephone currently has a franchise agreement, but Todd said it’s not exclusive.

Other Business

Todd informed the council Lanesboro’s Standard and Poor’s Rating went from A to A-plus Stable, which is good news for the town.

The council tentatively approved placing an ad for Lanesboro in the Commonweal Theater brochure.

The council approved a gambling permit and temporary liquor license for the Turkey Federation. They also approved liquor licenses for the Fire Relief Association for a benefit and the Lanesboro Arts Center for several events.

The application for Jason Resseman as a new member of the EDA was approved.

The Local Board of Appeal and Equalization will be on April 14 from 5:30-6 p.m.

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